About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 841-849
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-615-5563-5
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2012
Location: Valencia, Spain

TIME, INTERACTION AND PERFORMANCE IN ONLINE STUDENT TEAMS: A TRAINING APPROACH

P. Beranek

Univeristy of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UNITED STATES)
There are many factors that can affect how well online team members communicate and how well students work together online. One of these factors is that of relational links. The concept of Relational Links (RL) is summarized from the current literature and we report on a study that compared online teams trained in the concept of relational links with teams that received no training. All electronic communications between team members were recorded and analyzed using McGrath’s time, interaction, and performance (TIP) framework on two separate tasks that were eight weeks apart. Students had two weeks to finish each task. What we found was that teams that received training spent more time in the member support function, more time in the inception mode and less time in the conflict resolution mode after the first task. Measurements after the second task indicated that there were significantly fewer TIP comments from both sets of teams and the levels of almost all of the 12 types of communication equalized for both sets of teams. However, the level of group well-being communications fell significantly for the teams without training but was raised slightly for the teams that had received training.

Virtual Project Teams and Relational Links
Research on virtual-team communication indicates that the idea of relational intimacy, referred to as relational links (RL) might have an impact on the effectiveness of team member communication. The development of relational links among team members has been found to significantly contribute to the effectiveness of information exchange which has been shown to improve performance.

Time, Interaction and Performance (TIP)
McGrath’s time, interaction, and performance (TIP) theory was adopted for theoretical analysis framework. This framework looks not only at group functions that occur while working on a project, but it also analyzes member contributions throughout the process, giving particular emphasis to temporal processes in group interaction and task performance. TIP theory suggests that group members contribute to the group according to three team functions: (1) production—completion of the task, (2) group well-being—maintenance of group relationships, and (3) member support—individual group member role or relationship within the group. TIP theory also suggests that regardless of the function, group members contribute to the group at one of four modes of activity when working on a project. These activities represent phases of the completion of a task and include (1) inception, (2) problem solving, (3) conflict resolution, and (4) execution. This framework provides for 12 nodes of analysis, each of the functions and within each function 4 separate modes.

The Relational Link (RL) Training Process
The training consisted of three parts, first students were informed of benefits and drawbacks of ICT systems along with methods of addressing problems that may occur and features of the system. Second, teamwork and the meeting process was discussed in which team dynamics and stages of the meeting process were introduced. Third common misunderstandings and misinterpretations that can occur between online teammates due to a lack of nonverbal and paraverbal cues were presented, students were informed on basic tools to expand the media richness, or “emotional bandwidth,” of their communications channel.
@InProceedings{BERANEK2012TIM,
author = {Beranek, P.},
title = {TIME, INTERACTION AND PERFORMANCE IN ONLINE STUDENT TEAMS: A TRAINING APPROACH},
series = {6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2012 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-5563-5},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {5-7 March, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {841-849}}
TY - CONF
AU - P. Beranek
TI - TIME, INTERACTION AND PERFORMANCE IN ONLINE STUDENT TEAMS: A TRAINING APPROACH
SN - 978-84-615-5563-5/2340-1079
PY - 2012
Y1 - 5-7 March, 2012
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2012 Proceedings
SP - 841
EP - 849
ER -
P. Beranek (2012) TIME, INTERACTION AND PERFORMANCE IN ONLINE STUDENT TEAMS: A TRAINING APPROACH, INTED2012 Proceedings, pp. 841-849.
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